Mark Twain's Happiness
'Humor is the great thing,' wrote Mark Twain.'The saving thing.' The irreverent satirist blazed a wayward path that happiness gurus should not ignore.
"There's a scurrilous rumour abroad, on self-improvement websites, that Mark Twain is the source of the simpering fridge-magnet quotation. ... Even the genuine Twainisms recycled in countless self-help books—'Age is an issue of mind over matter. If you don't mind, it doesn't matter'—aren't his best. I think I know why. Popular psychology, these days, is a strikingly earnest field; acerbic wit is largely the preserve of cynics who scoff at self-help. It's bizarre: all these grinning gurus preaching happiness, yet without much sense of humour. Twain proved that needn't be so: you can dispense real, uncynical life-wisdom, and still be hilarious."
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It's one factor that can help explain the religiosity gap.
- Sociologists have long observed a gap between the religiosity of men and women.
- A recent study used data from several national surveys to compare religiosity, risk-taking preferences and demographic information among more than 20,000 American adolescents.
- The results suggest that risk-taking preferences might partly explain the gender differences in religiosity.
She met mere mortals with and without the Vatican's approval.
- For centuries, the Virgin Mary has appeared to the faithful, requesting devotion and promising comfort.
- These maps show the geography of Marian apparitions – the handful approved by the Vatican, and many others.
- Historically, Europe is where most apparitions have been reported, but the U.S. is pretty fertile ground too.
A NASA astronomer explains how astronauts dispose of their, uh, dark matter.
- When nature calls in micro-gravity, astronauts must answer. Space agencies have developed suction-based toilets – with a camera built in to ensure all the waste is contained before "flushing".
- Yes, there have been floaters in space. The early days of space exploration were a learning curve!
- Amazingly, you don't need gravity to digest food. Peristalsis, the process by which your throat and intestines squeeze themselves, actually moves food and water through your digestive system without gravity at all.
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